Tag Archives: Josh Gordon


Talking Josh Gordon and the Browns on the nationally syndicated Jason Smith Show on Fox Sports Radio.

Josh Gordan Photo - Courtesy of AP Tony Dejak


The NFL Players Associated released a statement on behalf of Josh Gordon:

“I’d like to apologize to my teammates, coaches, the Cleveland Browns organization and our fans. I am very disappointed that the NFL and its hearing office didn’t exercise better discretion and judgment in my case. I would like to sincerely thank the people who have been incredibly supportive of me during this challenging time, including my family, my agent, my union, my legal team, and the Cleveland Browns staff.”  

Josh Gordan Photo - Courtesy of AP Tony Dejak

photo courtesy AP – Tony Dejak

Statement from Browns General Manager Ray Farmer on Josh Gordon Suspension

“While we may have strong feelings on the timing and the process of this decision, we have also consistently communicated that we will focus on what we can control in our day to day approach. Right now that is preparing our team for the 2014 season and at the same time, supporting Josh however we are able under NFL guidelines during his suspension.”

Browns Helmet Sideways Photo


Statement from Browns Head Coach Mike Pettine on Josh Gordon Suspension

“We will continue to support Josh and we understand that there is accountability for one’s actions. Our job and that of the team is to focus on what we can control. Our philosophy in building this team and the mentality we’re establishing is that we’re going to have to overcome challenges and situations throughout the course of a season. We’ll continue to be relentless in our approach, in how we work and focus on our goal of returning winning football to Cleveland.”



Andy, Jeff and I discussed why it was taking the NFL so long to decide Josh Gordon’s fate, how stupid it was for Gordon to put himself in this situation and Kevin Love joining the Cavaliers.

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After watching the Cleveland Gladiators get destroyed in Arena Bowl 27 by the Arizona Rattlers 72-32 I was hoping when I left “The Q” I would be getting some good news about the Browns in their third preseason game against the Rams. I was hoping I could go home and pull up on my DVR the Browns looking good in what is considered the dress rehearsal game for the regular season. That was not the case as I checked the internet and saw a 33-14 defeat at the hands of the Rams. So I needed a break from bad football and waited until late Sunday night to watch the Browns game. Here are my observations:

Mike Pettine Post-Game Close Up

For all Browns fans out there, you have to hope that head coach Mike Pettine and his coordinators are holding a lot back. That they don’t want to show their hand as to what they are capable of doing on offense and defense. That “Vanilla” has been the name of all the game plans so far. If not, this could be a long season after what I’ve witnessed not only in the Rams game, but all of the preseason games so far.

Brian Hoyer In Game Close Up


The two biggest things I took away from the Rams game – 1) The Browns don’t have a legitimate, playoff caliber quarterback in Brian Hoyer or Johnny Manziel. 2) By them not playing in the game, it was made abundantly clear that the Browns have two playmakers, Josh Gordon and Joe Haden. Without those two players in the line-up, the negative domino effect was painfully obvious.


Rookie Justin Gilbert was picked on and beaten repeatedly by whoever was at quarterback for the Rams. With Haden out there, that won’t happen as he’ll take the opposing teams top receiver.  Joe Haden Mini Camp 2014

Gordon is the only player on offense that opposing defenses fear right now and maybe for the whole season. The Rams had 7 offensive plays of 20 yards or more, the Browns didn’t have any….NONE….not even one against the Rams third team defense!

The Rams with 4 different quarterbacks playing thanks to the injury to starter Sam Bradford, averaged 8.5 yards per pass attempt. Hoyer and Manziel averaged 4.7 yards per pass attempt. Pathetic!

What was supposed to be one of the strengths of this team, the offensive line, looked like a weakness Saturday night. Granted the Rams have a very good defensive line, but to give up 4 sacks and only rack up 32 yards rushing in the contest was alarming. That unit, on this team, including Joe Thomas was one I wasn’t overly concerned with, but I am now.

To be out gained by almost 300 yards, at home, in what is considered the most important preseason game of the preseason, is concerning to say the least. Plus the Rams did it with their back-up quarterback, and his back-up, and then his back-up. That’s their 4th string guy!

There were a few positives in the game, not many, but a few, so let’s give them credit.

Rookie linebacker Christian Kirksey had a solid game with 7 tackles, 1 tackle for a loss and an interception.

Defensive end Armonty Bryant only had 2 tackles, but he had a number of quarterback pressures (one knocked Sam Bradford out of the game and out for the season with a torn ACL) and he gave great effort whenever he was in the game.

Johnny Manziel In Game Money Sign TD vs RamsGranted it was against a combo of the Rams second and third team defenses, but Johnny Manziel showed off the one thing he can do and that’s scramble and make a play with his legs as he scored on a 7 yard run.

Punter Spencer Lanning was solid with a 40 yard average but more importantly he landed 2 of 5 punts inside the 20 yard line.

The return game was very good on both punts and kick offs. Good to see Travis Benjamin back as he returned a punt 17 yards and showed the speed we’re used to seeing from him. The Browns also averaged nearly 34 yards per kickoff return.

Also let’s credit the coverage teams as they haled the Rams returners in check on both punts and kickoffs.



As the Browns head into their second preseason game against the Redskins, there are four big questions marks that I’m hoping to get answers to on Monday night in Washington. Here’s what they are…….

Johnny Manziel In Game Huddle



Mike Pettine Photo Mini Camp 5-1-14On deciding to mix reps with the quarterbacks today:

“Correct. All part of the plan.”

On the offense having a good day:

“They did. I thought there was some good competition out there. I was glad that the guys responded the way they did. I think this is a stretch of camp where you’re tired of going against each other, everybody is sore and everybody has something going on. We’ve been urging our guys to go through it, to press on. We have to get better. We can’t come out and just put days in and coast and just start looking forward to the preseason games. I thought our staff did a good job of getting the guys going, and the players responded. We felt we had a good day.”

On if it’s safe to say that DB Justin Gilbert is really coming on:

“He is. There’s no substitute for reps in pads. I think he’s made a lot of strides. He’s getting better. We’ve gotten to the point where a lot of it is small detail stuff with him. He’s big. He has length. We want him to go ahead and use that – use that physicality. You get up on a guy and a lot of times you’ll just open the gate. We’d rather him try to restrict some at the line of scrimmage without him fouling.”

On the ability to restrict at the line of scrimmage without fouling being a matter of gaining confidence:

“I think it is. The more reps he gets against NFL receivers – you see him, he gets good work and likes going against (WR) Miles (Austin). I think (secondary) Coach (Jeff) Hafley, (assistant defensive backs coach) Aaron Glenn and (assistant defensive backs coach) Bobby Babich are doing a good job with that whole group because there are some things technique-wise that they haven’t done here before and some of these rookies have never done. That is a confidence thing to trust your recovery speed, that I can let a guy above me, knowing that the ball still has to come over me and I can recover. I think a lot of guys come out, they’re used to playing it safe and they have a lot of balls caught underneath. We want to have the best of both worlds. We want to be slightly underneath and trust that our help over the top will get there or that I can recover.”

On how some coaches dread setting up the first depth chart and what his theory is about it:

“I did it because I had to do it. At a lot of positions, we would of just slashed guys. It’s very loose in our minds. I wouldn’t put a lot of credence in that. It will be very fluid and there will likely be changes after every week.”

On if quarterback is a spot where he might of slashed guys:

“Maybe. I might have (laughter)No, we listed (QB) Brian (Hoyer) as the starter.

On having the DBs wear kickboxing gloves at practice to keep them from grabbing at receivers:

“You’ve got to get guys out of that habit. Instead of putting them in the full boxing gloves that I think would really slow their stride down, they’re more like sparring gloves, like you said kickboxing gloves. It’s like a big mitten. The thumb can still come out. I just think it’s more the mentality that they know they have to be able to cover more with an open palm than grabbing and restricting, especially if the rule is going to be called as tightly as we’re told it is.”

On if they’ll wear them every day:

“Yeah, and that’s on Coach Hafley. He has a set of them that he works in. I’m not sure how he’s been doing it, but the guys have been getting some good work with them on.”

On how firm of a grasp he has on his defense without seeing it against another team:

“As much as we can have a grasp now, you’re always curious. You go against each other for so long then you start to get used to each other and understand each other and understand each other’s plays and learn the checks. You kind of get a false sense. We’ll truly know when we get a chance to go out there compete. You’re always looking forward to going against somebody else.”

On if he noticed while watching film that Gilbert had never been called for holding and was called for pass interference once in college, as Gilbert shared:

“Yeah, we noticed that he played – you’re always looking for that. How clean is a guy’s slate? Because to me, that means you lack confidence if you’re fouling down the field. We have some guys that sometimes foul and they don’t have to. That’s important. We’re glad that he didn’t have that habit coming out of Oklahoma State.”

On if QB Brian Hoyer will start on Saturday against Detroit:

“We’re going to meet on that with the whole [group]. We’re going to set the reps. I can’t say anything definitive right now.”

On if he keeps statistics during the 11-on-11 periods, specifically for the quarterbacks, and how much credence he puts in them:

“That’s more of an evaluation tool for (quarterbacks coach) Dowell (Loggains) and for (offensive coordinator) Kyle (Shanahan). I know they keep them. I don’t look at them, but I know a lot more goes into it than just, ‘Hey, they could have had poor footwork and thrown a bad ball that ended up as a completion or they could have done everything right and thrown a perfect pass and it was dropped.’ It’s part of it. I think more importantly is – this goes to how we evaluate every player – did they get lined up properly and did they do everything we asked them to do over the course of the play.”

On if being quicker in his reads and making throws on time is part of the progress that Manziel has made:

“That comes with it. That’s also understanding the play and then who he’s reading. Am I reading the weak safety? Am I reading the strong safety? Where am I looking to go with this ball? I think that’s true of any rookie quarterback that most of the time, you’re going to see they’re much slower. They have to anticipate. Where you see where (QB Brian) Hoyer’s ahead is his ability to throw a ball before a guy breaks open, but we certainly see Johnny making strides in that direction.”

On if he is getting exciting for his first preseason game as a head coach on Saturday:

“Absolutely. I’m excited for the guys, too. They’ve put in so much work and to finally get to go against somebody else. I know they’re tired of smacking each other around. I think it’ll be a special day, but, to me, it’s more for the staff and the team then it is for me personally.”

On why the Browns don’t have any extra kickers in training camp:

“We did have one early who was injured. We talked to (Browns special teams coordinator) Chris Tabor and he thought that he could get by for a little ,bit and then he would make a decision after a week whether or not he wanted to bring in another leg or not.”

On if he is finding Manziel is high in football acumen:

“He is. We knew that when he was coming out. He understands football, but when you switch offenses and you’re going from just a completely different system, it’s just like learning a foreign language. You know it in your own terms, but then you have to find out, ‘OK, how do I translate? What I know was this is now this.’ That’s just part of the learning curve for everybody, especially rookie quarterbacks.”

On DB Tashaun Gipson being limited at practice today:

“He should get more work tomorrow. I’ll find out from (head athletic trainer) Joe (Sheehan) how he responded today. If things went well, he should be back getting team work tomorrow, and then, we’d expect him to be able to go on Saturday.”

On if he plans to keep the team in pads throughout the duration of camp or if he will have a non-padded practice:

“We’ve talked about it being in pads up through the second game, and then we would evaluate it from there, kind of where we health-wise, kind of where we were – do we need a day off from pads? That’s all stuff that we’ll make that decision as we go, but up until game two, if we’re allowed to be in pads, we’ll be in them.”

On if he has any sense of when the Browns will know the outcome of WR Josh Gordon’s appeal:

“I do not. It’s been reported, I think, it’ll be a chunk of time. We just don’t know when. We don’t have an exact date. As frustrating as it is for Josh, I think he’s handled it well. He’s been practicing hard, giving good effort, finishing plays. Assuming if we don’t hear anything, then he’ll be out there Saturday.”

On if he knows the results on OL Michael Bowie:

“I do not. I think he was getting evaluated this morning.”

On if he notices a difference in the players when Hoyer or Manziel is at quarterback:

“I do not.”



Mike Pettine Photo Mini Camp 5-1-14

On if today was a scheduled day for QB Johnny Manziel to take reps with the first-team offense:

“Yes, it’s just all part of the plan that we’ve had. It’ll go back and forth.”

On how Manziel did today:

“I said this a couple other days:  I don’t want to evaluate guys coming right off the field. Until I talk to the offensive coaches, see the tape, I’ll have a better feel then.”

On Manziel taking first-team reps causing a lot of talk:

“That’s great. That comes with the territory.”

On if Manziel practicing with the first team today was part of the plan from the beginning of camp or if it was decided after looking at the first week of practices and the Family Day scrimmage:

“No, we had talked about it beforehand but didn’t really put it in stone. It was not a result of anything that happened in the scrimmage.”

On if it seemed Manziel took steps forward after watching film from the Family Day scrimmage:

“Yeah, I think both quarterbacks took steps. I thought they both played to their skill set. I thought Johnny did a good job making some plays with his feet, keeping plays alive. (QB) Brian (Hoyer), I thought, showed some poise in the pocket and stepped into some throws. Let’s not forget that he’s a guy coming off of a knee [injury] and that was really the first true live work that he had gotten. I thought that was good work for him, as well.”

On if the first-team reps for Hoyer and Manziel will change each day or week:

“Probably more day-to-day at this point.  I don’t think we’ll do this for the entire week. Then, we’ll meet at some point mid-week to discuss how we want to handle the reps in the Detroit game.”

On if it is a concern that none of the quarterbacks were able to find the end zone during the Family Day scrimmage:

“Actually, [Manziel] did. We would have thrown the flag on the one (TE Gary) Barnidge catch. I think somebody had video from the stands that confirmed that he had two feet in and caught the ball. That was pointed out to me by our offensive guys yesterday. It wasn’t a concern. It’s really just the first time getting out there. It was just inconsistent play. It’s tough on those guys when the whole playbook is available. It’s not a game plan situation. Defensively, I’ve already spoken to it that I think we present more looks and sometimes I’ve seen it retard the growth of an offense during camp. It takes them a little bit of time because of all the looks they’re seeing. It wasn’t a concern.”

On if WR Josh Gordon being back at practice today was an encouraging sign:

“It’s still part of the process. He left practice a little bit early to go in. That’s part of the process, as well, that he’s involved with something with the league today. We’ve been patient so far, and it’s waited this long. Hopefully, a resolution is coming soon.”

On the running game during Saturday’s scrimmage:

“I thought they’re still finding their way with it. For a lot of guys, it’s a very different transition. I thought, defensively, our guys played well, played the run game well. I thought our pad level was good. They got off blocks. They tackled well. A few runs got out, but overall, the run defense was encouraging. I think the offensive guys came out of it knowing that they need to get better.”

On if he knows who will start at quarterback against Detroit on Saturday:

“I do not.”

On if Manziel taking first-team reps is a reflection of Hoyer’s first week of practice or the scrimmage:

“No, not at all. It’s just something we wanted to work them both in, and it’s part of our process.”

On if WR Willie Snead has made a good impression:

“He has. He stepped up in the scrimmage, made a big catch on fourth down to keep a drive going, made a big play here today. We talk about the Play like a Brown attributes, he hits a lot of those spots. Guys on defense don’t like him very much, which is usually a compliment because he mixes it up with them. I think there was a fight early in camp, but he’s not afraid to go in and get a little bit dirty blocking. I think he runs good routes and has good ball skills.”

On what it means for Manziel to take reps with the first team:

“It’s just part of our plan. We say we’re going to allow the quarterbacks to compete. At some point, you’ve got to mix up the supporting cast a little bit. It’s all part of it.”

On saying early in camp that barring something unforeseen, Hoyer would start the first preseason game:

“Yeah, I would still say that’s true, but I can’t say it’s 100 percent at this point. I would still say there’s more than reasonable chance that he’ll be the starter against Detroit. That had been the plan. I just want to confirm with (quarterbacks coach) Dowell (Loggains) and (offensive coordinator) Kyle (Shanahan) and see where they are with it.”

On whether he will defer to Loggains and Shanahan about which QB will begin the season as a starter:

“Yeah, absolutely. That will be a committee decision. We’ll meet together. I’m not an expert, but I also feel like I’m in charge of the big picture. We’ll formulate a plan, not just with quarterback but with all positions, that we feel gives us the best chance to win.”

On if using radio communication between the QBs is something new:

“No, that’s been (in) every practice so far and all of the spring.”

On DB Pierre Desir’s practice today:

“Pierre stepped up. He had a rough veteran camp and responded a little bit. The coaches challenged him before he went away on break, and he came back and really made some strides. We’ve been very pleased with Pierre. I think he’s one of the more difficult guys of the corners to get off (of) when he presses a guy just with his length. He’s gotten more patient. If you ask the receivers who the hardest guy is to get off press, they’ll probably say him.”

On if TE Jordan Cameron not practicing is still simply a precaution:

“It’s an AC issue with the shoulder, but it’s not anything. If this were a game week, more than likely he would’ve gone. I’m still not sure – we haven’t made a decision yet for Detroit – but more than likely, we will air on the side of caution.”

On who will get first-team reps at quarterback for tomorrow’s practice:

“I’m not sure. They wrote it out on the board. I’m not sure how they plan on doing it, but it will be a mix this week.”

On undrafted WRs on the team with Arena Football League and Canadian Football League experience:

“I think that it’s a testament to those guys, their perseverance, their dedication. You see a lot of guys that are very successful in this league that weren’t high draft picks, especially at that position. You can look at (WR) Miles Austin as a perfect example. There are a lot of ways to make it, and those are the guys that you know that aren’t going to give up because nothing has been handed to them.”

On if there’s an update OL Jason Pinkston’s status and if he’s closer to returning:

“No, at some point, I think that we’ll formally release something about it, but I don’t see him coming back in the foreseeable future.”

On what Manziel has improved on the most since the start of camp:

“I think the playbook stuff, the repetitions, calling the plays in the huddle and not just being able to call the play but then understanding what his reads are and where to go with the ball.”

On if the Browns acquired OL Michael Bowie believing he won’t be available all season:

“We’re not sure yet. He doesn’t get here until late today so after the physical, we’ll have a little more information on that.”

On if he’s disappointed that someone hasn’t run away with the starting QB position:

“No because they’re both competing and they’re both doing what they’re supposed to be doing. It would be hard for there to be a clear-cut guy anyway when they’re both being efficient in their play when they’re in there.”


G.M. Ray Farmer and the Cleveland Browns feel they have made significant moves this offseason through the draft and free agency that will help them win football games in the NFL. But with the moves they have made, will it increase the value of any of their players when it comes to Fantasy football?

Here’s how I approach my Fantasy Football season and the player rankings. I have my own ideas on who I have ranked high and who I like for the upcoming season. I then go and buy my annual Fantasy magazine, which is Sports Illustrated and I also download information from two other highly reputable Fantasy outlets, ESPN.com and CBSSportsline.com. I then take the average of all four to come up with my rankings for my draft cheat sheet.

In starting my research it has become apparent to me that not many players on the Browns offense are being considered as starters or must haves on Fantasy rosters this year. With that in mind, here are the players and where the three major magazines/websites have Browns players ranked.

Sports Illustrated

QB – Johnny Manziel – 34th

QB – Brian Hoyer – 19th

RB – Ben Tate – 21st

WR – Josh Gordon 70th

WR – Andrew Hawkins – 82nd

TE – Jordan Cameron – 10th


QB – Johnny Manziel – 23rd

QB – Brian Hoyer – 35th

RB – Ben Tate – 16th

WR – Josh Gordon – Not Ranked in Top 80

WR – Andrew Hawkins – 54th

TE – Jordan Cameron – 6th


QB – Johnny Manziel – 26th and  29th

QB – Brian Hoyer – Not Ranked in Top 32

RB – Ben Tate – 27th and  27th

WR – Josh Gordon – Not Ranked in Top 60

WR – Andrew Hawkins – Not Ranked in Top 60

TE – Jordan Cameron – 5th and  10th

So as you can see tight end Jordan Cameron, in the eyes of the experts, is your highest ranked Cleveland Browns player when it comes to expected Fantasy Football production this season. Josh Gordon would have been the top ranked Browns player if he didn’t have the potential season long suspension hanging over his head. However, not knowing his status at this point either has him ranked very low or not ranked at all. Should Gordon’s potential season long suspension be reduced, or if he miraculously is cleared to play in all 16 games this season, then he would once again be a top 10, if not a top 5 receiver on almost everybody’s boards and the top ranked Browns player.


Not only has Dwyane Wade’s on-court game diminished,  so has his endorsement game. When the only commercial we see you in now is for the “Endura Cool Towel” which you can buy at Lowes, you know your superstar status is in question. Think about that LeBron!

LeBron and Dwyane Wade on the bench

The longer this free agency period goes in the NBA without a legit free agent willing to take less money to play in Miami, the Cavs chances, as well as all the other teams in on the LeBron James sweepstakes increase daily. I had the Cavs chances at 30 percent yesterday. I’ll improve that to 35 percent today.

So yes, Cleveland has a decent shot at getting LeBron James back if he doesn’t retrun to the Heat. If that happens thank yous need to be sent to the Spurs, Endura Cool Towels, Kyle Lowery and others.

The Indians off season moves, or lack thereof, are hurting their chances to win the Central Division, as they trail first place Detroit by seven games and second place Kansas city by three games. Here are the moves that hurt the most.

Tribe Home Opener 2014 - Panoramic View


They elected not to resign starting pitcher Scott Kazmir who is now (10-3, 2.53era) with the first place Oakland A’s.

Aaron Harang was a spring training invite for the Indians, but was told he didn’t make the Indians opening day roster, so he used a clause in his contract to opt out and become a free agent. Soon after, he was picked up by the Atlanta Braves where he has posted an 8-6 record so far with a 3.67era.

They passed on adding a power bat, which they so desperately needed like Nelson Cruz in free agency and all he’s done so far for the Baltimore Orioles is hit 27 home runs, while driving in 70 with a .286 batting average. How good would he look in the middle of the Tribe’s order?

I will give the Indians credit for not re-upping Ubaldo Jimenez (3-8, 4.52), saying so long to Chris Perez and not caving in to Justin Masterson’s ridiculous demands for a huge contract, but the earlier mentioned moves that they didn’t make have really hurt.

There’s still time to do something before the trading deadline of July 31st, but they better act quickly if they not only want to still challenge for the division title, but also the two A.L. Wild Card spots.  With 76 games to go the Indians are 5½ games out of the second Wild Card spot.

On a positive note, let me be the first to say congratulations to Michael Brantley for representing the Indians at this year’s MLB All Star Game. It hasn’t been officially announced yet, but this is a no-brainer. If he doesn’t make it, an investigation should be done by the FBI and the CIA with Major Legaue Baseball. Brantley is the Tribe’s best all-around player and he has the numbers to back that up (.319-13HR-56RBI) through 86 games.

I can remember saying it on the radio, TV and on KennyRoda.com over the last two years. I never worried about wide receiver Josh Gordon during the season, but when he’s away from the Browns in the off season is when you should be very worried about him, and how accurate have those statements been? Wow, you talk about throwing away a chance at stardom, that’s exactly what Gordon is doing. He’s soaking wet with talent, but prefers partying and allegedly breaking the law over a successful career in the NFL. He needs some serious help to get his life together as former teammate D’Qwell Jackson pointed out on Twitter yesterday.

If Gordon is suspended for a full season, and reports suggest that we should find that out here in the next week or so, the Browns will have 14 other wide receivers on the roster that combined for one touchdown catch last season. Yes that’s right, one TD grab! Nate Burleson caught one in Detroit in the 9 games he played for the Lions.

I said it then and I’ll say it again; not drafting a wide receiver somewhere in the draft was a big mistake by Ray Farmer and the Browns. I wanted Sammy Watkins in the first round, but I can understand the trade down to select Justin Gilbert and get Buffalo’s number one pick next year. But to ignore the WR position the rest of the draft was a bad decision by Farmer.

©Kenny Roda

©Kenny Roda

Thank you Jurgen Klinsmann, Clint Dempsey, Tim Howard and the rest of the U.S. soccer team for an exciting run in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

I thought I’d never say this, but I’ve become a full-fledged soccer fan! Yeah that’s right, the guy who used to rip the sport on the radio many years ago, now has fallen in love with the sport! I think I’ve missed two World Cup games. I watched every minute of every game played by the United States and was thoroughly depressed when the U.S. Men’s National Team was knocked out in the round of 16 by Belgium.

I’m hopeful that other new U.S. fans like me will stay with the sport and help it grow in notoriety over the next four years leading up to the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

I Believe!



Here is the transcript of Browns head coach Mike Pettine’s press conference with the media following yesterday’s final day of mini-camp. The first year head coach gave his thoughts on how camp went, what they achieved, who the number #1 quarterback on the team’s depth chart is and more.

On what he said to the team as it ended mini-camp:

“We feel we’ve built a good foundation. I went over in the meeting about some of the numbers that occurred in the weight room, some of the things we were able to do there; just the amount of inventory, the volume that we put in – offense, defense and special teams – spoke to that. We built a good foundation, but the key thing for a mature team is to take this break and keep on a rise. We can’t afford to take a step back and really be back at the beginning when we get to training camp. It was a challenge for the guys to stay in shape. Their playbooks will be available to them throughout this break, as well. We should be able to get ahead mentally for training camp, as well.”

Mike Pettine

On if Browns QB Brian Hoyer is the starting quarterback going into training camp:


On how close Browns QB Johnny Manziel is on the depth chart:

“It’s been hard to evaluate because. Brian hasn’t been able to take the actual 11-on-11 reps, but when we put the actual depth chart together, Brian will be No. 1.”

On what he’s learned during minicamp:

“That they know how to work, and that this is a smart group. I think we’ve handled some pretty complex stuff that we’ve thrown at them. That’s our job as coaches to kind of keep throwing at them and see what is our cumulative intelligence. I thought we’ve done a good job of handling that stuff. There are some guys that are better than others, but I think for the most part, they’ve impressed us as a staff with their work ethic and their ability to handle the volume of information.”


On if Hoyer has extended or maintained his lead as starting quarterback:

“It’s hard because we haven’t really been in the mode of thinking, ‘OK, he’s this far ahead today. How much was the gap closed?’ They’re still learning the basics of the offense. The rookies haven’t been here very long. They’re playing catch-up from a playbook standpoint.  At this point, we really weren’t keeping score. I think we’ll be much more apt to do that once we get to training camp.”


On if the rookies will remain at the facility after the minicamp ends:

“Yeah, they’re here next week. Then, the NFL rookie symposium – which I think is split between AFC and NFC for a series of days, and that’s close by; I think part of it might actually be here, if I’m not mistaken – is the week after.”


On if it is a nervous time when Manziel is dismissed before training camp:

“I think it’s nervous anytime your entire team is dismissed. As a coach, you hear your phone ring and you kind of look at it with one eye, hoping it’s not an issue coming up. We talked to them about it, that we wanted to make sure they handle themselves well. The advice, like I said before, was learn the system, stay in shape and stay out of trouble.”


On how the reps will be divided between Hoyer and Manziel in training camp:

“I don’t know how even we’ll get it, but there will definitely be times when Johnny will be with the ones. It would be hard to evaluate if we didn’t do that. If there wasn’t a competition, then it would be strictly ones, twos. We have not met to go over that. (Browns offensive coordinator) Kyle (Shanahan), (Browns quarterbacks coach) Dowell (Loggains) and I are going to all think of it over the summer, and as we get closer, at some point, probably get together and figure out how we want to do it.”


On if Manziel will play against first-team defenses during the preseason:

“I can’t answer that. I don’t know, but if a guy has a chance to be a starter I would think that you’d want to expose him to a starting defense if he was going to be the guy opening day.”


On what Manziel can do before training camp to close the gap, considering Hoyer’s position:

“I don’t think he should concern himself so much with where Brian is but where he is. I think if he gets in his – it’s hard to say get into his playbook because it’s get into his iPad, which is odd to say (laughter). He’s going to have plenty of tape to study, his own work, what the rest of the offense has done, even in the time before he got here, the work that we were able to do on the field, start to study some opponent tape. He’ll have a volume of Redskins tape, which will be a lot of the similar terminology, the formations, the plays. I think the more he just familiarizes himself with that, the better off he’ll be.”


On if studying the playbook will help him make reads faster:

“Some, but it’s still so early for him at this point.”


On if Hoyer’s lead in the quarterback competition is insurmountable for Manziel to catch up, in reference to Browns General Manager Ray Farmer’s statement weeks ago:

“No, I think when Ray made the comment he talked about the lead being, just because of the circumstances because Brian had been here for those whatever it was, seven, eight weeks before the draft even started. That was essentially a head start. I don’t think it’s insurmountable. I think that Brian is securely ahead of him right now, but we will compete and we will decide. The issue for us as a staff will be finding the right time to name the starter. If you wait too late, then nobody’s ready for the opener; if you do it too soon, then it wasn’t a true competition. That will be part of our discussions as well, as far as, ‘OK, here’s the plan, here’s the date that we’re going to go ahead and name it.”


On expecting to hear a decision soon from the NFL on Browns WR Josh Gordon’s status:

“I think that’s reasonable to say. We haven’t been given a date. I think, in fairness to us, the league would let us know. There’s no information as far as what the plans are to release it, but I think we’re all comfortable thinking that we should know before training camp starts.”


On how Browns LB Jabaal Sheard will be used, and if the identity of the defense will be to go after the quarterback with the pass rush:

“We’ve always wanted to be known as an attack-style defense. I think the more you can shorten the amount of time that the quarterback has to process – if you want to make him react quicker or at least make him think he has to react quicker – then I think that’s going to be in the defense’s favor. We’ve studied it. We’ve put a stopwatch on when the ball has come out versus us and versus other teams, and there’s a marked difference. It’s coming out quicker when teams play us. You don’t have to cover as long, that’s the other benefit of it. In respect to his position, right now he’s penciled in as one of our rush linebackers, which is almost more of a drop-end than a rush linebacker. He will be dropping less and going more at the quarterback.”


On if Browns LB Barkevious Mingo will drop more than Sheard:

“Yeah, that’s fair to say at this point.”


On if the Browns were limiting RB Ben Tate’s reps through minicamp:

“He was a little nicked up, but he took the reps that he could.”


On which players jumped out at him during minicamp, despite not practicing with pads:

“There was a bunch of them. I think we talked about it when I called the team up, that we’re getting to know them and they’re getting to know us. There are some guys that were impressive, but you can’t fall into that trap. I’m glad you prefaced the question the way you did because when it’s not in pads, sometimes fall in love with a guy or two that looks great in shorts and helmets, and then the pads go on. There are some guys that it’s the exact opposite, that thrive much more when there’s a lot more physicality involved.”


On what gives him confidence that he can go up against experienced coaches as a first-year head coach:

“We talked about it in the meeting today with the players because it’s the same is true for them as it is for us: you get confidence through preparation. I truly trust in our staff that our team is going to be prepared, that the players themselves will be prepared and that’s how you’re confident. I’ve been in this league for 12 years now. I’ve seen a lot of games won and a lot of games lost. I can’t really concern myself with who’s on the other sideline. It’s what we’re doing and the decisions that we make are the most important.”


On how the defense will be successful:

“What we’ve been able to do is formulate a style where we’re going to pressure, but we like to use the phrase that, it’s going to be more calculated than reckless. We’re not going to blitz just to blitz. There are going to be times where it’s going to look like a blitz but it really isn’t. We’re going to blitz a defensive back, but he’s only the fourth rusher so we get the best of both worlds. We have a chance to get a free runner or to keep a running back in or to cause a hot throw and still have seven in coverage behind it. I’d like to think that the way that we move around and disguise and we mix up the blitzes with the non-pressures that it gives us the best of both worlds that we don’t end in a situation where it’s reckless, where we have some great plays and then we turn around and give up a long one.”


On Browns DB Leon McFadden and Browns DL Armonty Bryant:

“Leon’s part of the corner competition and that was – I’ve already mentioned this – one of the rooms where we felt that we’ve created a lot of healthy competition. Leon will be part of that. He’s done some good things this spring. Armonty missed some time early, but we were able to get him back the last few weeks. He’s a guy that we’re looking forward to getting out there probably more likely in nickel pass rush situations. I think it’s difficult for him to excel in the spring without pads on. He’s one of those guys that’s probably better off once we’re fully suited up. He’s a guy that I remember (Browns defensive coordinator) Coach (Jim) O’Neil specifically liked him coming out, studied him in his college tape. We were happy to find him on the roster when we got here.”


On preferring Bryant to play on the line or standing up:

“I think he has some versatility. I think we can move him around. I think he could play outside backer in a pinch if we had to, but for now, I’d say predominantly he’ll have his hand down.”


On his days off:

“What I’ve found is when you have time off to take it and to get out of town so don’t look here for me. I will be out and about.”